Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson - Former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (20-2, 9 KOs) bounced back from a brutal knockout at the hands of Naoya Inoue in October 2018, to win an eight round unanimous decision over undefeated prospect Damien Vazquez (14-1, 7 KOs).
The scores were 79-73, 80-71, 80-71.
Payano was controlling the first round. In the second, he began to batter Vazquez with solid left hand punches, over and over and had the young boxer hurt. Vazquez began to trade with Payano in the closing seconds.
They were trading away in the third, with Vazquez taking more of the damage.
A clash of heads in the fourth opened up a cut on the cheek of Payano.
Vazquez began to make adjustments in the fifth, but Payano came back hard in the sixth and really hurt Vazquez with big punches. He had Vazuqez in serious trouble. Vazquez was doing everything possible to survive and holding on for dear life at times. The referee warned Vazquez several times to "show something" or the contest was going to be stopped.
Payano stepped off the gas in the seventh, staying on the backfoot and outboxing Vazquez during close moments. Vazquez took less punishment this time, and seemed to also have a cut above his left eye.
In the eight and final round, Payano continued to tag up Vazquez with hard shots, which rarely missed as the younger man was wide open for a lot of punches.